Here is a painter… dedicated to notions of process and technique. Her disregard for pat formalism and her easy embrace of a murky abstraction gives the work a soulful, sympathetic sensibility that is rare to find in such an obsessive technician… One risks confounding the senses even before peeling back the first layer of brusque sensuality that clings to the surface of her paintings.
- Zane Fischer
Deborah Barlow’s stunning works bring to mind microscopic forms, or moonscapes, or simply nonrepresentational images of color, texture, and scale that you can get lost in. Through an unexpected combination of pigments, metallic powders and a variety of substrates, her paintings wonderfully suggest the complexity of a multi-layered and visually rich world… Barlow keeps inching out beyond the commonly shared version of reality. What is above and beyond our own reach? That’s where she keeps heading.
- Linda Chestney
Barlow’s paintings are sensual…she paints handsome, crusty, glistening abstractions.
- Greg Cook
The Boston Phoenix
Barlow combines minimalism and “maximalism” to fuse a unique vision…A deep sense of form underlies the complex, nonobjective picture plane, linking the work to landscape and elements of nature…while Barlow’s surfaces are highly active…there is no trace of brushwork, adding to the mystery of the process…Her creativity celebrates visual language as a transformative, primitive, and elemental power.
- Jan Lhormer
Art New England
Her pictures are surfaces but they are also what lies beneath their surfaces. This is hard to capture in a photograph of a painting, though not impossible. She makes paintings that resist the temptation to tell us something. Instead, they ask something of us. Or, in some cases, demand it. There are quite a few painters who use opacity and ambiguity as ingredients. She blows right by that trick, and I like that in a painter.
- Joshua Baer